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EDUCATION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE        91

education of the clergy, he insists again and again on the value of
a grammatical and rhetorical training for the Christian teacher.
" The art of rhetoric," he says, " being available for the enforcing
either of truth or falsehood, who will dare to say that truth in the
person of its defenders is to take its stand unarmed against false-
hood ? For example, that those who are trying to persuade men
of what is false are to know how to introduce their subject, so as
to put their hearer into a friendly or attentive or teachable frame
of mind, while the defenders of the truth are to be ignorant of
that art ? Who is such a fool as to think this wise ?"* If those
who are called philosophers, and especially the Platonists," he
remarks in another passage, " have said aught that is true and in
harmony with our faith, we are not only not to shrink from it,
but to claim it for our own use from those who have unlawful
possession of it.*' Many good and faithful men among the breth-
ren have followed the example of the Israelites who borrowed
freely from the Egyptians. " Do we not see with what a quantity
of gold and silver and garments Cyprian, that most persuasive
teacher and most blessed martyr, was loaded when he came out
of Egypt ? How much Lactantius brought with him! And
Victorinus and Optatus and Hilary, not to speak of living men!
And prior to all these, that most faithful servant of God, Moses,
had done the same thing; for of him it is written that he was
learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians."!

But while Augustine used all that was suitable for his purpose
in the secular learning of the schools in working out his scheme
of education for the Christian preacher, he made two modifica-
tions which subsequently found a more general application. In
the first place, he attempted to derive the content of grammatical
and rhetorical instruction from the Scriptures and other Christian
writings as well as from the classics. Thus, in discussing the use
of the different styles of oratory, he sought to show that with one
or two exceptions they all find exemplification in the Scriptures
and in the works of Christian teachers like Ambrose and Cyprian.
He does not extend his argument to the studies of the ordinary
schools, but it is obviously capable of such an extension. There
was no reason, apart from the badness of the current translations of
the Bible and the absence of religious literature comparable with
the classics, why the literary studies of the schools should not have
* IV,ii,3.           t Il,ri,6o,6x.